Tuesday, November 9, 2010

International Education 101

NAIT - Connecting students to the world
Looking back over a decade ago when I first attended my first class at NAIT, I noticed that now there are a significant amount of International Students attending school in Canada. Ten years ago, I would estimate and say that there were only 20% International Students or recent migrants to Canada in my classes. Fast forward ten years later, now my classes consists of 80% International Students or recent migrants to Canada from around the world.

I find it fascinating to speak with these students that have traveled half way around the world in order to attend school in Canada. We have students, both men and woman from Saudi Arabia, Korea, India, China, Somalia, Croatia, and Pakistan, just to name a few. Its pretty cool finding out all the cultures and the way students compare schools from one country to another. One of the students in my class is from India and he mentioned that attending school in Canada is much easier as well as more laid back. He gave me an example that if you don't complete your homework on time, the teacher hits your knuckles in front of the class to teach you a lesson. Another student who is from Saudi Arabia said he went to a school that no girls could attend and he enjoys being amongst woman in his class at NAIT.

I have also learned that each country treats International student's differently as well. In Saudi Arabia, the Government pays for students tuition as well as provides a monthly living allowance that is equal to almost $30,000 a year. On the other side of the spectrum, a student from Korea has to pay 100% of his/her tuition and travel as well as get a job in order to earn a living to put food on the table. Talk about two different worlds, one student is more relaxed and focused with less stress, the other has to worry about bills, put food on the table for his family and still find time to get an education.

Another thing that I found interesting is tuition fees are four times higher for International students compared to Canadian students. An example would be, for one class it will cost about $600.00 with books for Canadians, International students pay about $2400 for the same class that we are both attending side by side. I never knew that the Canadian Government subsidized citizens who are born or legally Canadian citizens.  

Anyway, it has been a first hand lesson about International Education from around the world and is great to see that Canada and NAIT is gaining a reputation around the world as a great school to attend.

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